Territory and climate
The Nizhny Novgorod Region locates almost centrally in European Russia, on the East European Plain, also called the Russian Plain, nearly equally (1,000+ km) far away from the seas in the west, the north, and the south.
It borders with the Kostroma Region in the north-west, the Kirov Region in the north-east, Mariy-El and Chuvashia in the east, Mordovia in the south, Ryazan Region in the south-west, and the Vladimir Region and the Ivanovo Region in the west.
The NNR has a temperate continental climate. Winters are cold, long, and snowy with average January temperatures at around -12 degrees, while summers are moderately warm with average July temperatures at +19 degrees centrigrade. The central and southern districts are warmer. The average annual precipitation of 500 - 550mm is distributed unevenly: it increases to the north-west and decreases to the south-east, where droughts may occur.
The northern border of the famous Russian chernozem (black humus) soil crosses the region. The European dark coniferous boreal forest, or taiga, merges into mixed and broad-leaved woods in the south with large meadow steppe areas occurring.
Volga divides the region into two main parts: the left-bank Zavolzhye bottom lands and the right-bank hilly and trenched upland.
The total length of over 9,000 rivers in the region is 32,000 km; 600 of them are over 10 km long. Volga’s major right tributaries, Oka and Sura, are navigable. The largest Volga tributaries within the region are Vetluga and Kerzhenets. The rivers’ banks are quite picturesque and attract water tourists. The regional terrain also comprises some 3,000 lakes and water storages.
The region’s capital city Nizhny Novgorod is an important transportation hub. The ramified network of waterways, railways, and motor roads secures reliable links with other regions either supplying raw materials, or purchasing regional products, as well as with major cultural centres.
Over 31,300 km of public motor roads and over 1,200 km of railways are available in the region. An international airport is situated 12 km from the capital city. About 1,100 km of navigable waterways route across the region’s territory. Europe’s largest river Volga is the main waterway. Creating a chain of hydro plants allowed to maintain the depths suitable for regular navigation. Volga, its tributary Oka, and a system of channels connect the Nizhny Novgorod region with all seas surrounding European Russia (the Baltic, the White, the Azov, the Black, and the Caspian Sea), as well as with Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Urals.